(CNN) - It was the massacre at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, that spurred the creation of a federal task force on gun violence, but the headlines since then have shown that the issue stretches beyond any single incident.
The work of the task force, led by Vice President Joe Biden, comes at a time when the debate over guns is everywhere.
(CNN) – Republican U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey of Georgia said controversial comments he made on rape "misconstrued" his own position on the topic, according to a statement released by his office Friday.
Appearing Thursday at a local Chamber of Commerce meeting in Smyrna, Ga., Gingrey took questions on abortion rights and a controversial Georgia law that bans abortions for women more than 20 weeks pregnant.
(CNN) - House Speaker John Boehner sent a letter Friday to President Barack Obama formally inviting him to deliver the first State of the Union address of his second term on February 12.
In the letter, Boehner wrote "Our nation continues to face immense challenges, and the American people expect us to work together in the new year to find meaningful solutions."
Washington (CNN) – President Barack Obama will seek passage of an assault weapons ban as part of a larger push for new gun control laws, an administration official said Friday.
Vice President Joe Biden left out the idea of such a ban when he laid out a series of potential proposals under consideration by his gun task force Thursday. Instead, he focused on a new universal background check system for gun buyers and restrictions on high capacity magazines.
(CNN) – They were some of his loudest supporters during last year's campaign, so it makes sense that Katy Perry, John Legend, Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys and Usher will all perform at President Barack Obama's slate of inaugural balls.
The musical acts were announced Friday by the Presidential Inauguration Committee, which organizes the events surrounding Obama's swearing-in.
(CNN) – In another sign that Paul Ryan may be eyeing a run at the White House in 2016, the Conservative Political Action Conference announced Friday that he has agreed to address the conference this March.
"We are pleased to announce that Congressman Paul Ryan will be a featured speaker at CPAC 2013," said American Conservative Union Chairman Al Cardenas. "From the day he was elected, Chairman Ryan has been a strong voice in Congress for pro-growth, free market economic policies and has always been a CPAC favorite."
(CNN) - Planned Parenthood in Texas heads to federal court Friday, looking for a temporary injunction that would allow it to take part in the state's revamped Women's Health Program.
Late last month, a Texas judge denied the group's request for a temporary restraining order that would have extended the organization's ability to participate.
(CNN) - Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV, the five-term Democrat from West Virginia, opening up a potential seat for Republicans to grab in the next round of Congressional contests.
"As I approach 50 years of public service in West Virginia, I've decided that 2014 will be the right moment for me to find new ways to fight for the causes I believe in and to spend more time with my incredible family," Rockefeller said in a statement.
Washington (CNN) – A Drug Enforcement Administration agent stationed in Cartagena, Colombia, arranged for a prostitute to have an encounter with a U.S. Secret Service Agent only days before a visit there by President Barack Obama, the Justice Department's inspector general has found.
In a December 20 letter to the top Democrat and Republican on the Senate Homeland Security Committee, the inspector general said the agent admitted his role in hiring the woman, while a second DEA agent said he was intoxicated that night and was unable to "recall specifically his involvement."
Washington (CNN) - Years of tensions between Afghan President Hamid Karzai and the U.S. government appeared to fade away like a bad dream, at least in public, when Karzai touched down in Washington this week.
Karzai will get half a day's face time with President Barack Obama Friday, following meetings and cordial press appearances with U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Thursday.